11.26.22

Microsoft is the Problem, Not the Solution

Posted in Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Security at 2:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7adbcf370ee68a183b5aad2e87f4ff0e
Microsoft Concern-Trolling on Security
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The media is doing anything it can to suppress discussion about the national or international security crisis caused by Microsoft; instead, some publishers go as far as lionising Microsoft, portraying it as the ‘Jesus’ of computer security

THE VIDEO above concerns the concern-trolling by Microsoft et al, including Jim Zemlin (Linux Foundation) idolising the practices of the NSA's back doors partner as if Microsoft and security can be uttered in the same sentence (with a straight face). Microsoft and security are polar opposites and there’s ample literature explaining why.

Under the guise of “national security” Microsoft lobbyists are pursuing legislation that marginalises Free software in the US and EU. This is no laughing matter, it’s just regrettable that what’s left of “the media” does not pay attention and instead participates in the FUD campaign (with misleading and loaded terms like "supply chain").

“Microsoft and security are polar opposites and there’s ample literature explaining why.”The video shows the typical chorus from SANS (as of late), weaponising very old news (almost 12 months old!) to divert attention away from the biggest culprits, including back doors, ransomware, and so on (predominantly Windows issues).

As of this week, the Microsoft-connected media has the typical audacity to also portray Microsoft as a security expert when in fact dealing with antiquated software. As an associate of ours explains, “a) Boa was discontinued in 2005, the problem is not “open source software” b) [it's ludicrous that] Microsoft [is] posing as an authority on anything” (including security and “open source”).

The video above goes through these stories and ends with one from our latest Daily Links that said:

Although the Boa web server has been discontinued back in 2005, a lot of businesses still continue to use the same. Companies continue to use Boa web servers as it is bundled in the software development kit (SDKs) of a product. However, according to the latest report from Microsoft, Boa web server comes with potential risks and it is easy for [attackers] to [breach] these services. More importantly, Microsoft’s research showed that Indian power companies have faced several attacks because of the web server.

Do we need “Microsoft’s research” to know that running software discontinued more than 17 years ago is not a good idea? This is a symptom of undermined if not deeply corrupted media.

GNU Emacs Pointing to Microsoft Servers With Microsoft Ads (Spying) and Other Brainwash

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum cbd00fd9fa8f0202e13b7d5fa7bbc1be
Emacs and Microsoft Issue
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: An attempt to study another Gemini client resulted in a disturbing revelation; Unless something went very wrong, it seems like GNU Emacs doesn’t exercise caution with users’ privacy; it leaks out information to Microsoft in its Web browser mode

IT WOULD BE lovely to be proven wrong and nothing would please me more than realising I had done something wrong (before I recorded this video), but on the face of it DuckDuckGo is wired into Debian’s build of GNU Emacs. Well, maybe specific to this distro and version of it, but maybe the settings come from the ‘upstream’ package, just like qutebrowser in Debian 10. Does GNU not understand that DuckDuckGo means Microsoft servers serving Microsoft “results” (censorship) and ads while leaking users’ data to Microsoft? That’s what has been happening for over a decade; it’s hardly news that DuckDuckGo is a de facto Microsoft proxy.

“GNU Emacs is like the crown jewel of GNU or at least of Richard Stallman (it predates the GNU Project).”The video above concerns Elpher, which I still study for an impending review. It’s just that I lost interest in Emacs the moment I saw Microsoft in it.

GNU Emacs is like the crown jewel of GNU or at least of Richard Stallman (it predates the GNU Project). Sending users’ activity to Microsoft is very antithetical, hence a breach of trust. I first used Emacs more than 20 years ago (for coding); back then it didn’t attempt to integrate a Web browser.

gopher/gemini client in gnu emacs in debian 11
Does not respect your privacy

Links 26/11/2022: Maui 2.2.1 and Wine 7.22

Posted in News Roundup at 8:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Computers Are Badenlightenment and lighting controls

        One of my chief interests is lighting. This manifests primarily as no end of tinkering with inexpensive consumer IoT devices, because I am cheap and running new cabling is time consuming. I did nearly end up using DMX for my under-cabinet lighting but ultimately saw sense and stuck to a protocol that is even more unfamiliar to the average consumer, Z-Wave.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • The New StackHow to Create an Object Storage Bucket with MinIO Object Storage – The New Stack

        MinIO is a great tool to have if you need to use object storage for just about any type of need. For example, you could create object storage to be used with your Kubernetes deployments. Imagine having the combination of scalability with both container deployments and object storage. The sky is, as they say, the limits.

        I’ve already walked you through the process of deploying MinIO on Rocky Linux, which can be done on local machines or even third-party cloud-hosted systems. Regardless of where you deploy MinIO, you’ll need to create object buckets that will be used to store all that data (such as images, videos, documents, and more). This tutorial will show you how.

      • How to Check the Firewall Status in Ubuntu
      • Pragmatic LinuxInstall Qt5 and Qt Creator on Linux – PragmaticLinux

        This article explains how to install the Qt5 development packages and the Qt Creator IDE on Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE Linux.

      • DebugPointCustomize GNOME in Ubuntu 22.04 with a New Look

        You can try these cool tips to customize your latest GNOME desktop in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

        There are thousands of ways to transform your GNOME desktop using themes, icons, colours, and many tweakings. Most of them are targeted to cater to a particular transformation, like – making your Linux desktop look like Windows 10, Window 11, etc.

      • Ubuntu Pit16 Best Ubuntu Themes | Elevate Your Ubuntu Experience [Ed: Page updated today, but too much outdated information still in it]

        If you’re looking for the best Ubuntu themes, look no further! This article will help you choose the perfect theme for your Linux desktop that fits your style. With so many amazing options available, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

        If you want to change your desktop environment into something more aesthetically pleasing, Ubuntu Themes can help. With a few easy Terminal Commands and Tweak Tools configurations, it’s a piece of cake to use. Do not fret; I will teach you how to install all of these visually appealing Ubuntu Themes and Icons on various desktop environments.

      • UNIX CopHow to install MariaDB on Rocky Linux 9 / CentOS 9 Stream

        In this post, you will learn how to install MariaDB on Rocky Linux 9 / CentOS 9 Stream.

        MariaDB is a relational database manager that is a fork of MySQL but has gone its own personality-based way.

        It is well known all over the world, and we could consider it as a solid alternative to MySQL because it incorporates more engines and evolves in the right way.

        Let’s go for it.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 45: the specificity of ::slotted() content

        When you pass an element to a web component through a <slot>, you can select that element using the ::slotted() pseudo-element and apply additional styles.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 44: logical floating and clearing

        Thanks to Flexbox and CSS Grid no one seems to talk about float and clear anymore,…except for me now because there’s news.

      • Johannes WeberLinux’s Traceroute

        The other day I just wanted to capture some basic Linux traceroutes but ended up troubleshooting different traceroute commands and Wireshark display anomalies. Sigh. Anyway, I just added a few Linux traceroute captures – legacy and IPv6 – to the Ultimate PCAP. Here are some details:

      • uni TorontoUnix’s (technical) history is mostly old now

        It’s not quite the case that nothing has happened in Unix history since the early 1990s. Very obviously, quite a lot of important social things happened around ‘Unix’, such that by the end of the 1990s what Unixes people used had changed significantly (and then in the 00s the change became drastic). Less obviously, a bunch of internal kernel technology changed over that time, so that today every remaining common Unix has good SMP and in a far better place for performance.

      • RachelThe night of 1000 alerts (but only on the Linux boxes)

        Side note: the reason the alerting blew up was that the poller would only wait so long for the daemons to send their usual banner. The daemons, meanwhile, were waiting on their DNS resolution attempts to fail. The monitoring system’s poller timeout was shorter than the DNS timeout, so when DNS went down, everything went into an alert status.

      • uni TorontoUnix swap configuration used to be rather simple and brute force

        Modern Unixes generally support rather elaborate configuration of what swap space is available. FreeBSD supports multiple swap devices and can enable and disable them at runtime (cf swapon(8)), including paging things back in in order to let you disabling a swap device that’s in use. Linux can go even further, allowing you to swap to files as well as devices (which takes a bunch of work inside the kernel). It will probably not surprise you to hear that early Unixes were not so sophisticated and featureful, and in fact were rather simple and brute force about things.

      • Linux HandbookHow to Get the UUID of a Disk Partition in Linux

        UUID (Universally Unique Identifiers) is a property of disk partitions and is crucial while managing servers with hundreds of drives.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • WINE Project (Official)WineHQ – Wine Announcement – The Wine development release 7.22 is now available.

        The Wine development release 7.22 is now available.

        What’s new in this release:
        – 32-on-64 thunks for both Vulkan and OpenGL.
        – OpenLDAP library bundled and built as PE.
        – Support for the RAW print processor in WinPrint.
        – More progress on the long types printf format conversion.
        – Various bug fixes.

        The source is available at:

        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/7.x/wine-7.22.tar.xz

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        https://www.winehq.org/download

        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation

        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui 2.2.1 Release – MauiKit — #UIFramework

          Today, we bring you a new special report on the Maui Project’s progress.

          Maui 2.2.0 was released about three months ago, and since then, we have added new features, bug fixes, and improvements to the Maui set of apps and frameworks; the Maui Shell components and new apps have been updated and pushed for a new release. The following blog post will cover changes and highlights from the last three months, which pave the road for a Maui Desktop environment for convergence.

        • Nate GrahamThis week in KDE: Humongous UI improvements


          This week we have a lot of large and impactful user interface improvements across multiple apps and Plasma, not to mention progress on the big bugs!

          Dragon Player–KDE’s venerable minimalistic video and audio player–has undergone a major UI overhaul, including adopting KHamburgerMenu and a welcome screen, a streamlined and more intuitive set of default toolbar buttons, and less glitchy behavior when opening videos in the Plasma Wayland session

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Bruno RodriguesOpen source is a hard requirement for reproducibility

      Open source is a hard requirement for reproducibility.

      No ifs nor buts. And I’m not only talking about the code you typed for your research paper/report/analysis. I’m talking about the whole ecosystem that you used to type your code.

      (I won’t be talking about making the data available, because I think this is another blog post on its own.)

      Is your code open? That’s good. But is it code for a proprietary program, like STATA, SAS or MATLAB? Then your project is not reproducible. It doesn’t matter if this code is well documented and written and available on Github. This project is not reproducible.

      Why?

      Because there is on way to re-execute your code with the exact same version of this proprietary program down the line. As I’m writing these lines, MATLAB, for example, is at version R2022b. And it is very unlikely that you can buy version, say, R2008a. Maybe you can. Maybe MATLAB offers this option. But maybe they don’t. And maybe if they do today, they won’t in the future. There’s no guarantee. And if you’re running old code written for version R2008a, there’s no guarantee that it will produce the exact same results on version 2022b. And let’s not even mention the toolboxes (if you’re not familiar with MATLAB’s toolboxes, they’re the equivalent of packages or libraries in other programming languages). These evolve as well, and there’s no guarantee that you can purchase older versions of said toolboxes. And also, is a project truly reproducible (even if old programs can be purchased) if it’s behind a paywall?

    • Patrick BreyerKick-off for EU database of public domain works and digital access to scientific works – Patrick Breyer

      With yesterday’s budget vote, the EU Parliament approved the funding of two pilot projects in the field of free knowledge initiated by the Pirate Party’s MEP Patrick Breyer in cooperation with civil society.

      The first pilot project “Public EU directory of works in the public domain and under free licenses“, is funding a feasibility study for the creation of a database of public domain works. The development of such a database shall provide legal certainty for platforms, providers, galleries, libraries, archives and museums, as well as other non-profit organizations that work with public domain or freely licensed content.

      The second project, “The Role of Copyright Laws in facilitation of distance education and research” intends to strengthen schools, universities and the cultural sector. The pilot project will assess copyright obstacles for online teaching and will focus on possible adaptions to the legal framework in order to enhance an appropriate balance of the interests of the authors and the use for educational and research purposes in the public interest. In addition, public access to culture and education shall be increased, in particular by granting licenses to libraries.

    • Koos LooijesteijnBlogging or posting on social media—what’s better?

      I believe I reach more people with this blog than via social media. It’s hard to quantify that though, because what does it really mean to reach someone? Views don’t say that much. If we’re talking impact/effort, I recommend the approach of my one tweet that got over 900 likes: reacting with a joke to an already popular joke tweet. Reached over 30k people, took me a few seconds to post. But I forgot what it was about and I don’t think those 30k people remember. And when I post something on my Twitter timeline, it usually gets less than a hundred impressions.

      The platforms reward the best performing accounts with a big but short burst of users’ attention. But readers find my blog posts years after I publish them.

    • uni TorontoA revealing Vim addressing mistake that I made today

      What I actually was thinking of was the :g[lobal] command, and after I realized what I’d done wrong, that’s what I used. I’ve used ‘:g’ before, but this may have been the first time I’ve used it with a range (at least recently), and evidently my mind remembered the idea but forgot the important bit of the actual ‘g’. So the real version I used, after I realized it, was only different by the addition of that one crucial character that made all of the difference: [...]

    • Port SwiggerMastodon vulnerable to multiple system configuration problems

      More specifically, Alevski recently found that the infosec.exchange instance of Mastodon was uploaded to storage buckets that failed to apply access controls.

    • Licensing / Legal

      • NPRMiami-Dade County, stuck in a 19-year contract with FTX, seeks to rename its arena

        The county, which owns the arena, asked a federal judge to immediately end a 19-year, $135 million naming rights deal with FTX, in a motion filed Tuesday with the Delaware court where the FTX bankruptcy proceedings are taking place. Miami-Dade argued that continuing the agreement with the failed company would cause “significant hardship” for the county and hurt efforts to find a new arena sponsor.

      • Koos LooijesteijnWhy is open source software so badly designed?

        The ‘free’ part of free, open source software refers to its licensing: something that has nothing to do with software in particular. FOSS started as a social philosophy. Here’s how the GNU Project summarizes their view on computing as follows: [...]

    • Programming/Development

      • MIT Technology ReviewWe could run out of data to train AI language programs

        The trouble is, the types of data typically used for training language models may be used up in the near future—as early as 2026, according to a paper by researchers from Epoch, an AI research and forecasting organization, that is yet to be peer reviewed. The issue stems from the fact that, as researchers build more powerful models with greater capabilities, they have to find ever more texts to train them on. Large language model researchers are increasingly concerned that they are going to run out of this sort of data, says Teven Le Scao, a researcher at AI company Hugging Face, who was not involved in Epoch’s work.

      • APNICCongestion control algorithms are not fair

        The Internet has many flows. It is important to have a mechanism that decides what share of the total available bandwidth is allocated to each flow. Given the large number of flows on the Internet, it is infeasible to do this in a centralized fashion. Hence more distributed and scalable mechanisms are needed. Congestion Control Algorithms (CCAs) form a key component of this infrastructure.

      • Tim MisiakRecognizing patterns in memory

        Something I find frustrating is how hard it is to teach debugging skills. I think the biggest reason is because there are many things that can only be learned through experience. This is true for anything that requires pattern recognition. Our brains are great at recognizing patterns, but it often takes a large amount of practice to be able to identify useful patterns in data.

        I can’t instantly give you pattern recognition skills with a short blog post, but I can tell you about some of the patterns that I look for so you can start to train your brain to see these as well. Recognizing patterns in memory can be useful as it can give you a hint for things like memory corruption, which are often some of the hardest errors to debug from a postmortem analysis. Getting a rough idea of what type data is ovewriting other data in a process can tell you where to look next for the source of memory corruption. It can help narrow down where an issue might be because the bug is usually near the code that wrote this data.

      • Pete WardenWhy is it so difficult to retrain neural networks and get the same results?

        I’m writing this post because I find it fascinating that our systems have become so complex that an algorithm like matrix multiply that can be described in a few lines of pseudo-code can have implementations that produce such surprising and unexpected results. I’m barely scratching the surface of all the complexities of floating point math here, but many other causes of similar issues are emerging as we do more and more calculations on massive distributed networks of computers. Honestly that’s one reason I enjoy working on embedded systems so much these days, I have a lot more confidence in my mental model of how those chips work. It does feel like it’s no longer possible for any one person to have a full and deep understanding of the whole stack on any modern platform, even just for software. I love digging into the causes of weird and surprising properties like non-determinism in training because it helps me understand more about what I don’t know!

      • Lorin HochsteinWriting docs well: why should a software engineer care?

        The first one is about building shared understanding among stakeholders of a document. One of the hardest problems in software engineering is getting multiple people to have a sufficient understanding of some technical aspect, like the actual problem being solved, or a proposed solution. This is ostensibly the only real goal of technical writings.

        Shared understanding is related to the idea of common ground that you’ll sometimes hear the safety folks talk about.

      • Phil EatonA Programmer-Friendly I/O Abstraction Over io_uring and kqueue

        Consider this tale of I/O and performance. We’ll start with blocking I/O, explore io_uring and kqueue, and take home an event loop very similar to some software you may find familiar.

        This is a twist on King’s talk at Software You Can Love Milan ‘22.

      • Animated population tree maps | Guy Abel

        The global population hit 8 billion today. To mark the passing an absolute population total I created some animated tree map plots in R to visualize relative past and future population totals for all countries.

      • Data Science TutorialsCross-validation in Machine Learning – Data Science Tutorials

        Cross-validation in Machine Learning, cross-validation is a word that everyone who works with machine learning techniques will come across at some point.

        We provide you with a quick overview of cross-validation in this blog post.

      • Rapid dashboard prototyping – scottishsnow

        I work in a startup called the Smart Data Foundry. We work with financial data to improve society. As a startup we have lots of ideas to try out, either internally or with collaborators. This is the idea of failing quickly – don’t spend a lot of time trying to find out if an idea works, get it to a testable state as fast as you can so you know if it is worth pursuing.

        Here’ a talk I gave at FOSS4GUK local 2022 which explains a couple of ways we’re approaching this. If you’d like to know more about Shiny then check out the Shiny Developer Series.

      • essayreg2: Linear Regression (Cloze with Essay and File Upload)

        Exercise template for interpreting a regression with two explanatory variables based on randomly-generated data (with either a linear, semi-logarithmic, or log-log relationship) in form of a cloze including essay and file upload.

      • FinnstatsPCA for Categorical Variables in R

        PCA for Categorical Variables in R, Using Principal Component Analysis to minimize the dimensionality of your data frame may have crossed your mind (PCA).

        However, can PCA be applied to a data set with categorical variables?

        You’ll discover how to apply Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to data frames that include categorical variables in this course.

        Additionally, you’ll discover how to use the R programming language to put these alternatives into practice.

      • Barry KaulerKernel 5.15.79 compiled with vmd.ko builtin

        Sometime ago, Ramachandra Iyer purchased a new HP laptop, but found that EasyOS and some of the pups would not recognize the NVME SSD at early bootup. This meant that unable to install any of these distros to the internal drive.

      • Perl / Raku

        • PerlAn objective criteria for deprecating community platforms | dean [blogs.perl.org]

          Perl has been around for a couple of years longer than Python and Linux. Perl 5 was released in 1993, the same year as FreeBSD and NetBSD.

          In the 90′s for Open Source projects the “community platforms” where Usenet newsgroups and mailing lists run on Listserv or Majordomo (Mailman didn’t show up until 1999). IRC was used for text based chat but without SSL!. CVS was the open source version control system of choice or you might have been unlucky enough to use Visual Source Safe at work, whilst Subversion wouldn’t show up until 2000.

          But the 90′s are more than 20 years in the past and IPv6 is actually seeing meaningful adoption now. Many of the above technologies are as completely foreign to people with 10+ years of industry experience as Compact Cassettes, VHS, LaserDisc and maybe CDs or even DVDs.

        • Gustaf EriksonParsing RFC 3339 timestamps using strptime in Perl

          An RFC 3339 timestamp can look like this: 2022-11-25T09:26:04+01:00.[2] This is the format required by the Atom and JSONfeed specifications.

      • Python

        • Paolo Melchiorre2022 Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize

          Of course I’m happy that what I tried to do for Django was appreciated, and I really thank Sarah Abderemane, not only for the wonderful words she wrote in the nomination, but also for her great commitment to Django, she is a valuable member of our community , and I was very pleased to have met her in person during DjangoCon Europe 2022 in Porto.

      • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Riccardo MoriSocial paths and detours

      One of the reasons why I can’t seem to write on this blog as often as I’d like is that certain tech topics I care about routinely resurface and I realise that the debate around them retreads the same ground and points discussed previously, and so I often stare at an article I’d like to respond to, and say to myself, I’ve already talked about this. They’re still talking about this, and nothing has changed or improved since the last time. I would only end up repeating myself. This is why you haven’t heard me talking about the iPad’s identity crisis in a while. It’s the same crisis as before. The iPad got lost around 2013 and it’s still lost in the woods, even if it can run faster now.

    • BrrMcMurdo Postal Mail

      McMurdo and South Pole have APO (Army Post Office) facilities, and participants are eligible to use them for receiving and shipping personal (non-commercial) goods while in Antarctica.

    • Common DreamsOpinion | Ideas—Even the Most Foolish, Unfortunately—Have Consequences

      Is the radical right pure hate and all emotion?

    • Democracy Now“You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train”: Remembering the People’s Historian Howard Zinn at 100

      In a special broadcast, we remember the legendary historian, author, professor, playwright and activist Howard Zinn, who was born 100 years ago this August. Zinn was a regular guest on Democracy Now!, from the start of the program in 1996 up until his death in 2010 at age 87. After witnessing the horrors of World War II as a bombardier, Zinn became a peace and justice activist who picketed with his students at Spelman College during the civil rights movement and joined in actions such as opposing the Vietnam War. He later spoke out against the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I believe neutrality is impossible, because the world is already moving in certain directions. Wars are going on. Children are starving,” Zinn said in a 2005 interview. “To be neutral … is to collaborate with whatever is going on, to allow it to happen.”

    • Democracy NowBlack Friday Special: Howard Zinn & Voices of a People’s History of the United States

      This year marks 100 years since the birth of the historian Howard Zinn. In 1980, Zinn published his classic work, “A People’s History of the United States.” The book would go on to sell over a million copies and change the way many look at history in America. We begin today’s special with highlights from a production of Howard Zinn’s “Voices of a People’s History of the United States,” where Zinn introduced dramatic readings from history. We hear Alfre Woodard read the words of labor activist Mother Jones and Howard’ son Jeff Zinn read the words of an IWW poet and organizer Arturo Giovannitti.

    • TediumA Sealant Story

      An interest in home improvement is just something that seems to sneak up on you without warning sometime in your 30s. I don’t know when old Popular Mechanics issues and reruns of This Old House became a personal point of fascination, but it happened. There was a time when repainting or doing a repair was something I didn’t even think about much at all. Nowadays, I’m enthusiastic about painting, caulking, and cutting tree branches. I own a flannel shirt. I have my own forestry hat and overalls. It’s weird. Last year, we explored the history and origins of WD-40—a highly versatile compound with a surprising history—and how it imprinted itself into our minds. Earlier this year, we talked about pressure washers. And as we move into the winter time—and my voice suddenly starts taking on a New England inflection—it’s time to open the home improvement toolbox again to discuss caulk. What is it? Where did it come from? And what makes it such a compelling topic? In today’s Tedium, we seek to answer these questions and seal the leak in your knowledge about this fascinating substance. Insert your best caulk joke here.

    • Education

      • AIMCoding is Dead, Long Live Programming!

        Let’s take a look at the differences between programming and coding and how they will be impacted by low code and no code platforms in the future.

      • Matt RickardShowing Up Every Day

        Showing up every day is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. It applies to almost everything – learning or improving a skill, fitness, solving a problem, or anything in between. In many ways, it riffs off of many different facts and ideas: [...]

      • Neil SelwynThe capitalist nature of contemporary Ed-Tech

        Crucially, EdTech has become a key means through which public education is now being appropriated for profit – what might be seen in Marxian terms as ‘primitive accumulation’ (i.e. the appropriation of the commons).Think of the ways in which primary school apps are now littered with side-bar advertising, or how the majority of education software sells on student data to data brokers and other third parties. Think of the ways in which supposedly time-saving automations require constant behind-the-scenes attention (invisible labour) from teachers. Think of the rising popularity of online platforms where teachers are encouraged to re-sell lesson plans and resources that they have developed for their own classes.

      • ScheerpostThis Year’s Biggest Strike Is by 48,000 Academic Workers at the University of California

        By Kenzo Esquivel / Labor Notes Across the prestigious University of California system, tens of thousands of workers walked off the job last week for the nation’s largest strike of 2022, and the largest strike of academic workers in U.S. history. The energy was palpable as nearly 5,000 academic workers gathered at UC-Berkeley’s campus November […]

      • Common DreamsOn Black Friday, Amazon Workers in 40+ Countries Strike and Protest ‘Despicable’ Treatment

        Thousands of Amazon workers in more than 40 countries are planning to mark Black Friday by walking off the job and protesting the corporate behemoth’s abuse of employees and the climate, as well as its chronic avoidance of taxes while raking in huge profits.

        “Make Amazon Pay” actions are expected to include marches and rallies for union recognition in Bangladesh, strikes at nearly 20 warehouses in France and Germany, walkouts in a dozen cities in the United States, and a protest by newly unionized workers in Japan.

    • Hardware

      • The Telegraph UKBob Moog: the genius behind the Sixties synthesiser revolution

        Within four months of Harrison’s Moog arriving in the UK, The Beatles used it on four tracks on Abbey Road (although Jagger got his first). Prog rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) and Yes went on to make banks of keyboards – including multiple Moogs – their calling card. The Vietnam film Apocalypse Now was sound­tracked by a Moog, the otherworldly soundscapes “at least as important as the film” itself, as director Francis Ford Coppola writes in the foreword to Switched On, Albert Glinsky’s absorbing new biography of Bob Moog.

        Switched On is an important musical history, but it is also a fable about how not to do business. Despite his apparent success, Moog was almost broke all his professional life. It is a tale about mindsets, specifically about how nerdy geniuses can be blind to glaringly obvious conventions (Moogs weren’t sold with user manuals, for example). It’s about how the fear of new technology creates existential dread. And it’s about how Western hubris let low-cost Japanese electronics sweep the world in the 1980s, crushing US competition in the process.

      • Kian RyanRS232 and Null Modem HAT For The Pi Zero

        Version 2 was a significant improvement. Not only do all the components fit on board, but it works and it supports CTS/RTS and optional null-modem. This board is suitable for a range of RS232 projects. The files to make your own boards are available from Github. For details on how to make it talk to the Psion, see my previous post.

      • Computer WorldHP to cut up to 6,000 staff in plan to mitigate PC market softness

        In the face of declining revenue, HP has announced it expects to lay off 4,000 to 6,000 employees by the end of fiscal year 2025, reducing its 51,000-strong global workforce by about 12%.

      • HackadayCircular Binary Clock Uses The Power To Tell Time

        Should a clock be round? Depends on the style of clock, we suppose. After all, we wouldn’t expect to see a digital clock with a round readout just for fun. But a binary clock — that’s another animal altogether. Whereas [JohnThinger] made just a few weeks back a linear binary clock using an RGB LED strip and an ATtiny, he decided it would look much better in the round.

      • HackadayCustom Prusa MK3 Fan Duct Gives Camera Perfect View

        A growing trend is to mount a borescope “inspection camera” near a 3D printer’s nozzle to provide a unique up-close view of the action. Some argue that this perspective can provide valuable insight if you’re trying to fine tune your machine, but whether or not there’s a practical application for these sort of nozzle cams, certainly everyone can agree it makes for a pretty cool video.

      • HackadayAre Slabtops The Future Of Computing?

        The most popular computer ever was the Commodore 64 with its computer-in-a-keyboard form factor. If you have a longing for a keyboard computer with more modern internals, one of the easiest solutions today is to pull the screen off a laptop.

      • CNX SoftwareRAK2560 WisNode LoRaWAN & BLE Sensor Hub ships with a choice for sensor modules

        RAKwireless RAK2560 WisNode Sensor Hub is a modular sensor gateway based on the RAK4630 WisDuo Stamp module with Nordic Semi nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.0 LE MCU and Semtech SX1262 LoRa/LoRaWAN transceiver and equipped with two sensor probe ports to connect a range of sensors.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Science NewsPollution mucks up the lungs’ immune defenses over time

        In the new study, researchers from Columbia University analyzed lung immune tissue from 84 organ donors, ranging in age from 11 to 93 years old. The donors were nonsmokers or had no history of heavy smoking. With age, the lungs’ lymph nodes — which filter foreign substances and contain immune cells — became loaded with particulate matter, turning them a deep onyx, the research team found.

    • Proprietary

      • Matthew Garrettmjg59 | Poking a mobile hotspot

        First, it’s clearly running Linux (nmap indicates that, as do the headers from the built-in webserver). The login page for the web interface has some text reading “Open Source Notice” that highlights when you move the mouse over it, but that’s it – there’s code to make the text light up, but it’s not actually a link. There’s no exposed license notices at all, although there is a copy on the filesystem that doesn’t seem to be reachable from anywhere. The notice tells you to email them to receive source code, but doesn’t actually provide an email address.

      • Stacey on IoTIf a Matter company stops paying license fees, what happens?

        On a recent Internet of Things Podcast episode, we took a Matter question during our Voicemail hotline segment. This particular question was submitted via email by Jon, and since it was such a good question, we decided to tackle it.

        Jon asked: [...]

      • IT WireSecurity teams face ‘increasing difficulty’ ‘detecting, stopping’ cyber threats: Vectra [iophk: Windows TCO]
    • Security

      • Fear, Uncertainty,
        Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

        • TechRadarOver a thousand Docker container images found hiding malicious content
          [Ed: Terrible 'journalism' trying to tie "Linux" and "containers" to malware because some of them might contain some (not the fault of the software at all)]

          Over a thousand container images hosted on the popular database repository Docker Hub are malicious, putting users at risk of cyberattack, experts have warned.

          According to a report from Sysdig, the images contained nefarious assets such as cryptominers, backdoors, and DNS hijackers.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • 9to5MacMassive Twitter data breach was far worse than reported, reveal security researchers

          A massive Twitter data breach last year, exposing more than five million phone numbers and email addresses, was worse than initially reported. We’ve been shown evidence that the same security vulnerability was exploited by multiple bad actors, and the hacked data has been offered for sale on the dark web by several sources.

          It had previously been thought that only one hacker gained access to the data, and Twitter’s belated admission reinforced this impression …

        • India TimesBanks need to give customers confidence on privacy of data, cybersecurity: IBA CEO

          “Banking is a business of trust where credibility needs to be maintained. Bankers have to maintain the credibility of the institution and the privacy of customer data. Users are needed to be given confidence on cybersecurity, that their data will be kept private and there will be no thefts,” said Mehta at a panel discussion on ‘Thriving in the world of digital’ at ETBFSI Converge Summit 2022.

        • VideoThese Tax Filing Websites are Sending Your Tax Info to Facebook – Invidious

          This week in the Privacy News, the student loan debt relief scam was just a way to collect emails for POTUS, CCTV cameras are everywhere and a new program is raising awareness, and iPhone analytics collects data that is directly tied to the consumer.

        • The VergeTax filing websites have been sending users’ financial information to Facebook

          The data, sent through widely used code called the Meta Pixel, includes not only information like names and email addresses but often even more detailed information, including data on users’ income, filing status, refund amounts, and dependents’ college scholarship amounts.

          The information sent to Facebook can be used by the company to power its advertising algorithms and is gathered regardless of whether the person using the tax filing service has an account on Facebook or other platforms operated by its owner Meta.

        • CNBCTax prep software sent back personal consumer data to Meta and Google, report says

          In a report published with The Verge on Tuesday, the outlet found Meta pixel trackers in the software sent information like names, email addresses, income information and refund amounts to Meta, violating its policies. The Markup also found that TaxAct had transmitted similar financial information to Google via its analytics tool, though that data did not include names.

          As CNBC explained in 2018, Meta uses tiny pixels that publishers and businesses embed on their websites. The dots send a message back to Facebook when you visit. And it allows companies to target ads to people based on sites they previously visited.

        • John GruberReport: Amazon Alexa Is a ‘Colossal Failure’ on Pace to Lose $10 Billion This Year

          It’s enough to make you think that HomePods aren’t expensive; it’s just that Alexa devices have been sold at a loss over the years.

        • [Repeat] Amazon Alexa is a “colossal failure,” on pace to lose $10 billion this year | Ars Technica

          Amazon is going through the biggest layoffs in the company’s history right now, with a plan to eliminate some 10,000 jobs. One of the areas hit hardest is the Amazon Alexa voice assistant unit, which is apparently falling out of favor at the e-commerce giant. That’s according to a report from Business Insider, which details “the swift downfall of the voice assistant and Amazon’s larger hardware division.”

          Alexa has been around for 10 years and has been a trailblazing voice assistant that was copied quite a bit by Google and Apple. Alexa never managed to create an ongoing revenue stream, though, so Alexa doesn’t really make any money. The Alexa division is part of the “Worldwide Digital” group along with Amazon Prime video, and Business Insider says that division lost $3 billion in just the first quarter of 2022, with “the vast majority” of the losses blamed on Alexa. That is apparently double the losses of any other division, and the report says the hardware team is on pace to lose $10 billion this year. It sounds like Amazon is tired of burning through all that cash.

          The BI report spoke with “a dozen current and former employees on the company’s hardware team,” who described “a division in crisis.” Just about every plan to monetize Alexa has failed, with one former employee calling Alexa “a colossal failure of imagination,” and “a wasted opportunity.” This month’s layoffs are the end result of years of trying to turn things around. Alexa was given a huge runway at the company, back when it was reportedly the “pet project” of former CEO Jeff Bezos.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Common DreamsRaging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

        Armed conflict, climate change, economic stressors, and humanitarian aid shortfalls are among the leading drivers of increased gender-based violence, the head of the United Nations’ refugee agency said on Friday, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls.

        “There is a shocking, pernicious cycle of hunger and insecurity, each exacerbating the other and fueling risks to women and girls.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Carbon Bombing the Climate Must End

        The annual United Nations climate talks, known as the Conference of Parties (COP), have traditionally promised much but delivered little. This year’s COP27 was no different, with most observers noting that it even backtracked on commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow.

      • The NationClimate Change Should Have Dominated the Midterms. It Didn’t.

        Believe me, it’s strange to be an old man and feel like you’re living on a new planet. On November 7, the day before the midterm elections, I took my usual afternoon walk in New York City and I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt! That was a first for me. And no wonder, since it was 76 degrees out—beautiful, but eerie. After all, that’s just not November weather.

      • The NationCOP27 Climate Conference Results?
      • Common DreamsGreta Thunberg Joins 630+ Young People in Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Sweden

        Climate leader Greta Thunberg was among 636 young adults and children who submitted a class-action lawsuit against the Swedish government at a district court in Stockholm on Friday, arguing that the country’s right-wing leaders are failing to obey the Swedish constitution as they continue allowing planet-heating fossil fuel extraction.

        About 2,000 people marched through Stockholm on Friday at the 223rd “school strike” against climate inaction—part of the global Fridays for Future movement Thunberg began in 2018 with a one-person protest outside Swedish Parliament.

      • Common Dreams‘Cleaner Air Is Coming’ as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

        Starting next August, drivers of the most polluting vehicles will have to pay $15 per day to enter an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone expanded to include all of metropolitan London, the British capital’s mayor announced Friday.

        “Our city is being smothered by toxic air—and it’s hurting and killing Londoners, leading to asthma, dementia, and even cancer.”

      • Energy

        • Helsinki TimesCoinmotion suspends co-operation with Finnish cryptocurrency lender

          The turmoil in the cryptocurrency market appears to have spread to Finnish companies, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

          Coinmotion, the leading cryptocurrency investor in Finland, announced earlier this week it has disabled the cryptocurrency interest account service provided by Tesseract. Its customers can therefore no longer make new deposits to the service, but they can continue to request withdrawals from the service to Coinmotion.

        • New York TimesCrypto Firm FTX’s Ownership of a U.S. Bank Raises Questions

          Among the many surprising assets uncovered in the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is a relatively tiny one that could raise big concerns: a stake in one of the country’s smallest banks.

          The bank, Farmington State Bank in Washington State, has a single branch and, until this year, just three employees. It did not offer online banking or even a credit card.

        • HackadayHoney, We Shrunk The Nuclear Reactor

          [Power Engineering] took a trip to the Westinghouse facility that provides maintenance for nuclear reactors. The research division there has a new microreactor called eVinci and — according to the company — it is a disruptor. Technically, the device is a heat pipe-based passive cooling design that can generate 5 MW of electricity or 13 MW of heat from a 15 MW heater core. You can see a video about the device below.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • VOA NewsGlobal Wildlife Summit Approves Shark Protections

          Delegates at a global summit on trade in endangered species on Friday approved a plan to protect 54 more shark species, a move that could drastically reduce the lucrative and cruel shark fin trade.

          Members of the requiem shark and the hammerhead shark families will now have their trade tightly controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

        • Common Dreams‘Amazing News’: Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

          Conservation advocates applauded Friday following a vote at the 19th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Panama, at which delegates from 183 countries and the European Union voted for sweeping protections for shark species.

          “This landmark vote marks the culmination of a decade of shark conservation progress within CITES.”

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Vice Media GroupNew York City Bill to Ban Reuse of Lithium Ion Batteries Is ‘Absolutely Crazy,’ Right-to-Repair Advocates Warn

        One bill in particular is causing angst within the right-to-repair industry because it would ban the sale of all used lithium-ion batteries that have been assembled or reconditioned from cells removed from other batteries for any type of electronic device, not just two-wheeled vehicles.

      • Internet SocietyTwo Things the US Should Do to Protect the Internet and the Security of Billions of People Online

        The Declaration for the Future of the Internet was a rally cry garnering many countries pledging to protect the Internet from threats that could lead to our worse case scenario: a splinternet. And U.S. sanction exemptions helped protect the Internet by ensuring companies can keep offering access options in places like Russia and Iran when they need it most. Now, Congress has an important duty to prevent dangerous bills like the EARN IT Act and others that undermine security and privacy from being enacted.

      • VarietyTwitter Folds Brussels Office, Sparking Concern From E.U. Policymakers – Report

        Twitter has folded its Brussels office following a wave of company-wide cuts and departures. Although the Brussels office was small, it was perceived as a “crucial conduit to European policymakers,” according to the Financial Times, which was first to report the news.

        The last two pillars of the Brussels office, Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, reportedly left the company last week.

      • Silicon AngleTwitter reportedly closes key Brussels office

        According to the Financial Times, some of the staffers who left the shuttered Brussels office departed as part of the layoffs announced by Twitter earlier this month. The round of layoffs saw the company let go about half its workforce, or about 3,800 employees. Twitter executives Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were in charge of the company’s digital policy in Europe, are reportedly among the staffers who have left the Brussels office.

      • NPRTwitter has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers since Elon Musk took over, report says

        Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website. A report from Media Matters for America states that these 50 advertisers have spent almost $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020 and more than $750 million just in 2022.

      • Counter PunchWhat Rishi Sunak Signifies
      • FAIRMilton Allimadi on Media in Africa
      • TruthOutIf DeSantis Wins 2024 Primary, It’s the Trump Nightmare With a Different Name
      • Broadband BreakfastTwitter Takeover by Elon Musk Forces Conflict Over Free Speech on Social Networks

        Mike Masnick, founder and editor of Techdirt, argued that both sides of the aisle were attempting to control speech in one way or another, pointing to laws in California and New York as the liberal counterpoints to the laws in Texas and Florida that are headed to the Supreme Court.

      • The HillMusk says suspended Twitter accounts will be granted amnesty ‘next week’

        Musk’s latest poll-based moves are among the controversial changes he’s made to the social media platform since his $44 billion acquisition late last month.

      • NBCTwitter slipped on removing hate speech even before Elon Musk takeover, E.U. says

        Twitter removed 45.4% of hate speech posts it was notified about in a sample this year, down from 49.8% in 2021, European Union officials wrote in their report.

        Twitter performed worse on that metric than any other social media platform tested, according to the report, but some of them including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok fell behind as well compared to the previous year.

      • Hollywood ReporterElon Musk Says Twitter Will Grant “Amnesty” to Banned Accounts Next Week

        A majority (72 percent) of the 3.1 million users voted in favor of the amnesty for blocked accounts, a group that includes former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, former Trump advisors Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, right wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, singer Azealia Banks, pharma bro Martin Shkreli and neo-fascist group the Proud Boys.

      • ABCMusk says granting ‘amnesty’ to suspended Twitter accounts

        New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he is granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

        The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%.

      • Security WeekUS Bans Huawei, ZTE Telecoms Gear Over Security Risk

        Previously, Washington had banned Huawei from supplying US government systems and strongly discouraged the use of its equipment in the private sector, with fears that Huawei equipment could be compromised by Chinese intelligence.

      • Scoop News GroupHow Xi Jinping leveled-up China’s [cracking] teams

        A year after coming to power in 2013, Xi began to prioritize cybersecurity as a matter of government policy, focusing the bureaucracy, universities and the security services on purposefully cultivating talent and funding cybersecurity research. During his time in office, the Chinese state has systematized cybersecurity education, improved students’ access to hands-on practice, promoted [cracking] competitions, and collected vulnerabilities to be used in network operations against China’s adversaries.

      • VarietyCNN Recruits Insider Inc.’s Alex Charalambides as CTO

        CNN, like other properties under the former WarnerMedia, has seen a high amount of turnover following Discovery’s acquisition to form Warner Bros. Discovery. Charalambides will assume the CTO role after the departure of CNN Digital CTO Robyn Peterson in June, when interim head of CNN Digital Alex MacCallum also exited. Those staffing changes came under CNN CEO Chris Licht, who came on board after Warner Bros. Discovery closed the WarnerMedia deal and quickly shuttered the CNN+ subscription service.

      • Hollywood ReporterElon Musk Plans to Relaunch Twitter Premium Service With Different Colored Checks

        In the latest version, companies will get a gold check, governments will get a gray check, and individuals who pay for the service, whether or not they’re celebrities, will get a blue check, Musk said Friday.

      • rOpenSci | rOpenSci’s Communication Channels: Twitter

        Twitter is one of the preferred social media platforms and networks for the R community and for the data, open science and research communities. Since the beginning of rOpenSci we have used Twitter to connect with our community and other parallel communities, to share what we do, and to be part of conversations around the topics important to our mission.

        We aim to provide a safe and friendly space for everyone in our community, and this influences how we choose which spaces we use to interact with our community members.

        We’re therefore concerned about recent changes announced by Twitter (such as a reduction or loss of content moderation, among other things) which may lead to it becoming a less safe and accessible place for our community.

      • New York TimesOpinion | What’s Twitter’s Future? The Former Head of Trust And Safety Weighs In – The New York Times

        This month, I chose to leave my position leading trust and safety at Elon Musk’s Twitter.

        My teams were responsible for drafting Twitter’s rules and figuring out how to apply them consistently to hundreds of millions of tweets per day. In my more than seven years at the company, we exposed government-backed troll farms meddling in elections, introduced tools for contextualizing dangerous misinformation and, yes, banned President Donald Trump from the service. The Cornell professor Tarleton Gillespie called teams like mine the “custodians of the internet.” The work of online sanitation is unrelenting and contentious.

      • John GruberTwitter vs. The App Stores

        Twitter wannabe Parler was banned from the App Store for three months in 2021 for its free-for-all lack of moderation. And it appears as though Apple executives aren’t exactly fans of Musk-era Twitter.

      • Overleveraging attention

        I think Musk is genuniely surprised he hasn’t been able (so far) to bluster his way through this.

        [...]

        I think it’s surprising because Musk’s bluster not only generates the attention he needs but acts as an ace up his sleeve, a way to guarantee a win. Musk leveraged, and then weaponized, the absolute worst tendencies of the social-era internet — fandom, brigading, the financialization of everything, the final merge of politics and identity. And Twitter was his weapon of choice.

        Take Tesla, a real company that makes actual cars. Not so long ago, Tesla’s market value was higher than the nine leading auto manufacturers combined, despite the fact that Tesla sold fewer cars last year than Mazda. Obviously, this was absurd, but it happened because Musk is a master manipulator of attention, the currency of the day.

      • The NationNancy Pelosi’s Next Chapter

        In the summer of 1991, as a relatively obscure member of the US House who was serving her second full term in the chamber, Nancy Pelosi traveled to China with a nine-member congressional delegation that was urging Chinese officials to release jailed dissidents. She was supposed to follow a tightly scripted schedule of tours and meetings. But Pelosi had other ideas. With two other members of the delegation, she headed to Tiananmen Square to unfurl a banner that declared, “To those who died for democracy in China.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Don’t Be Fooled. This Is What Elon Musk Is Really Up to With Twitter

        Elon Musk had good reasons to feel unfulfilled enough to buy Twitter for $44 billion. He had pioneered online payments, upended the car industry, revolutionized space travel, and even experimented with ambitious brain-computer interfaces. His cutting-edge technological feats had made him the world’s richest entrepreneur. Alas, neither his achievements nor his wealth granted him entry into the new ruling class of those harnessing the powers of cloud-based capital. Twitter offers Musk a chance to make amends.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Not-So-Silent Progressive Majority in the US

        The world heaved a sigh of relief this month when the feared “red wave” of Republican victories in the US midterm elections failed to materialize. While the Republicans took the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, the Democrats held on to the Senate. The Republican Party’s performance was not only worse than expected; it was the worst midterm performance in decades for a party not in control of the White House. 

      • Common DreamsOpinion | This Far-Right Republican Party Is Not Nearly as Divided as Some Think

        There is an understandable eagerness to celebrate that the Republican party failed to generate a “red wave,” and even experienced some major defeats, in this year’s election. Equally understandable is the inclination to seize on post-election Republican in-fighting as a hopeful sign of the party’s weakening. 

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • Indian ExpressMicrosoft warns about Boa web server risks: India is the most affected country

          Although the Boa web server has been discontinued back in 2005, a lot of businesses still continue to use the same. Companies continue to use Boa web servers as it is bundled in the software development kit (SDKs) of a product. However, according to the latest report from Microsoft, Boa web server comes with potential risks and it is easy for [attackers] to [breach] these services. More importantly, Microsoft’s research showed that Indian power companies have faced several attacks because of the web server.

        • AIMMeet the Woman Behind India’s Major Political Narratives on Social Media

          Political campaigns in India are evolving quickly; political parties are utilising new technology, data analytics, and artificial intelligence in a variety of ways. However, one aspect of political campaigns that has not changed is the use of social media for narrative building. To understand the inner workings of such undertakings in depth, Analytics India Magazine got in touch with political campaign manager Sukriti Sharma.

          Sukriti has been a political and environment campaign manager, public relations consultant, and digital strategist across various agencies in India. She has also operated closely with four state governments in India and successfully managed, designed, and executed communications campaigns with powerful messaging that led to practical behaviour transformation.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • VOA NewsWife of Jailed Belarusian Nobel Winner to Accept His Award

        The wife of jailed Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, one of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners, will accept the award on his behalf at the upcoming ceremony, organizers said Friday.

        Bialiatski, 60, won the prestigious prize in October together with Russian rights group Memorial and Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, which is documenting “Russian war crimes” against the Ukrainian people.

        The prize will be presented to the trio at a formal ceremony in Oslo on December 10.

      • Media Business InsightIn conversation: ‘Holy Spider’ duo on why Iran protests have made the film more resonant

        The film, produced by Denmark’s Profile Pictures and Germany’s One Two Films, and represented for worldwide sales by Wild Bunch International, had its premiere in Competition at Cannes where Ebrahimi won the best actress award. That exposure brought condemnation from the Iranian government — and since the festival, the mounting protests in Iran sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police have made Holy Spider look even more like a timely critique of Iranian society.

      • uni Simon FraseSocial media platforms need censorship

        It seems like Elon Musk is content with Twitter becoming a battlefield. And all for what — some awful hate tweets made from anonymous accounts? Advertisers are quickly cutting their ties to the site for its failure to moderate parody accounts spreading hate and misinformation. Private companies don’t have an obligation to host your hateful conduct. The “terms of service” function of social media platforms is what keeps these sites afloat for users and advertisers alike — if you loosen it too much, it’ll lose its meaning. We’ll see if Musk figures that out.

      • Dawn MediaNegotiating joy and dignity

        Saim’s ‘crime’ seems to have been to humanise the khawaja sira community and to dare to cast an actual khawaja sira character in the film, rather than a man or woman playing the role of one. The other crime seems to have been not portraying the character of Biba as the butt of jokes but as a breathing functioning complex human being trying to survive in an oppressive society.

      • Herald SunQatar officials shut down TV broadcast as presenter interviews disabled fan in wheelchair

        Alvarez was interviewing a woman in a wheelchair when the Qatari official interrupted with security guards in tow.

        Colleagues from the studio back in Buenos Aires said: “This is what the Qatar government is like.“

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Amnesty InternationalAfghanistan: Taliban’s cruel return to hardline practices with public floggings must be halted immediately

        “The Taliban continue to ignore widespread criticism as they flagrantly flout basic human rights principles in an alarming slide into what looks like a grim reminder of their rule three decades ago. These outrageous punishments are just another step in the legalization of inhuman practices by the Taliban’s cruel justice system and expose the de-facto authorities’ complete disregard for international human rights law.

      • VOA NewsUN Experts: Taliban Curbs on Women Amount to Crime Against Humanity

        A group of independent experts at the United Nations has warned that Taliban restrictions on women’s rights and freedoms in Afghanistan could amount to a “crime against humanity.”

        The experts demanded in a joint statement Friday that the Taliban treatment of women and girls “should be investigated as gender persecution” under international law.

      • ABCUN experts denounce Taliban treatment of women as crime

        Lashings in public, as well as public executions and stoning for purported crimes were common across Afghanistan during the first period of Taliban rule, from 1996 until 2001, when they were driven out in a U.S.-led invasion following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Taliban had sheltered al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

        The experts’ statement did not specifically mention the cases of public lashings but said the Taliban have beaten men accompanying women wearing colorful clothing or without a face covering.

      • AIMAmazon’s Sexist Hiring Bot is Back with a Twist

        A leaked internal document shows that Amazon had been working on an upgrade to their hiring algorithm in secret. The AI agent, dubbed Automated Applicant Evaluation (AAE), will be able to predict which job applicants will be successful in their assigned roles. The document shows that the tech giant has been working on this technology at least for a year under the Artificial Intelligence Recruitment team in the HR division.

      • The NationA Turning Point in the Search for Victims of Forced Disappearance

        Medellín, Colombia—When Alejandra Balvin walks through her childhood neighborhood in Medellín, she wonders what the flocks of tourists see in their surroundings. Some hold peace signs in the air for cheery photos in front of the famed graffiti art. Vendors sell T-shirts with Pablo Escobar’s notorious mugshot grin. The former slum’s storied violence now lends itself to an upbeat narrative of redemption. Tour guides tout that this neighborhood, Comuna 13, used to be a center of Medellin’s narco bloodshed, back when the city was the murder capital of the world. But now, with its sleek escalator into the hills, the area has become a proud emblem of transformation, with booming hostels and cafés evidencing just how far the neighborhood has come.

      • ScheerpostOn Black Friday, Amazon Workers in 40+ Countries Strike and Protest ‘Despicable’ Treatment

        “Instead of paying its workers fairly, its taxes in full, and for its damage to our environment, Amazon is squeezing every last drop it can from workers, communities, and the planet.”

      • Common Dreams‘The Nightmare Materializes’: Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel’s National Security Minister

        Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right Israeli lawmaker who was convicted of incitement to racism against Arabs and supporting a terrorist organization in 2007, is poised to become Israel’s national security minister after reaching a deal Friday with incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

        Haaretz reported that the agreement between Likud and Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party is the first Netanyahu “has signed with another party as part of the coalition negotiations following this month’s elections, which saw his bloc winning the majority of votes.” Under the terms of the deal, Reuters observed, Ben-Gvir “will have an expanded security portfolio that will include responsibility for Border Police in the occupied West Bank.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Women’s Rights Are Essential to Democracy
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Terence EdenThe BBC’s 15 Web Principles – 15 years later

        Back in 2007 – an eternity in web years – the BBC published a document showing their 15 Web Principles.

        I thought I’d take a look at how they stack up today. And investigate whether the BBC is still living up to them.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • New York TimesWhy the N.F.L.’s Big Streaming Deal Is Going Into Overtime

        The competitive landscape for Sunday Ticket has shifted as the talks have dragged on, the people familiar with the talks said. Sports and media executives have long considered Apple to be the front-runner, with some involved in the bidding process saying they thought the tech giant had reached an agreement.

    • Monopolies

      • Hollywood ReporterSenate Panel to Hold Hearing on Concert Ticket Sales Following Taylor Swift Eras Tour Fiasco

        U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) say they will be looking into the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. “The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” says Klobuchar.

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakTeaTV, BeeTV & CyberFlix Make Movie Piracy Easy; The Hard Bit Comes Next

          Pirate movie and TV show apps are extremely popular, with some proving more popular than others. For developers of these higher-profile apps, a large audience is a dream come true. The downside features more attention from anti-piracy groups, ACE in particular. Popular Android applications TeeTV, BeeTV and CyberFlix, have popularity all wrapped up, but the hard bit comes next.

        • Torrent FreakCourt Orders U.S. Navy to Pay $154,400 in Software Piracy Damages

          The United States Navy must pay $154,400 in copyright infringement damages to German software company Bitmanagement. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims awarded the compensation after the Navy was shown to have copied and used software without permission. Whether Bitmanagement will celebrate this win is up for question as the damages are less than 0.1% of the $155 million it asked for.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Programming

        • You can program functionally in any computer language

          A few days ago I wrote a comment on The Orange Site [1] that seemed to strike a chord there. The comment was about applying a few principles of functional programming [2] in any language (well, maybe not BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) from the 70s or 80s, but these versions of BASIC aren’t used much these days). There’s no need for functional application, functional composition, first class functions, monads, (“Monads! How do they work? [3]”) or even currying. No, I feel like you can get about 85% of the way to functional programming by following three simple principles.


* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 25, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:21 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

Over HTTP:

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

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Legislating Against Free Software in the United States and in Europe, Thanks to Lobbying by Microsoft et al

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Law, Microsoft, Security at 12:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 593aae11b7e5e06b971a2f29012bf9c6
Microsoft Lobbying Against Software Freedom
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: There’s legislation that would discriminate against Free software, boosted by Microsoft and its creeping interests, which include the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (a force of corporate occupation against the GNU/Linux community and its collective interests*)

About a year ago Dr. Andy Farnell explained how companies like Microsoft had worked to privatise the Commons, e.g. hoarding Free software in sites like GitHub (proprietary) and then censoring, plagiarising etc. in the interests of “core infrastructure” etc. They tell us they’re protecting us while stealing from us and denying basic freedom in the digital realm. They tell us we must give up control in the interest of “security” and let ‘responsible’ companies like Microsoft manage us. Noticing a recurring theme here?

Remember this is the company that uses crimes to impose proprietary software on people — software that already has (partly-hidden) back doors in it — ones that cannot be detected easily or removed. Microsoft is not people’s boss, but it might feel like it can boss politicians, even outside the United States. Hence this legislation in the US, which can now be seen (similar shades) in the EU.

Yesterday this new episode of “Enterprise Linux Security” was published to say: “Supply chain attacks in open source software projects are a real possibility. In fact, we’ve covered actual incidents in previous episodes of this podcast. In this episode, Jay and Joao discuss developing legislation that will require the components within open source projects to be a part of a bill of materials (among other requirements).”

But the malware is sent from Microsoft (GitHub/NPM) most of the time. Shouldn’t this "supply chain" be taken out of the hands of Microsoft and the NSA?

Meanwhile, here in Europe the NLnet Labs team is warning that “the proposed Cyber Resilience Act” would work against Free software (which NLnet supports). This refers to this old (15 September 2022) proposal which claims it “bolsters cybersecurity rules to ensure more secure hardware and software products.”

The consultation is now closed and the very top shows a Microsoft front group, “ACT | The App Association (Belgium)” [sic] under “Public consultation … Feedback and consultation period 16 March 2022 – 25 May 2022″ (finished half a year ago).

One reader has asked, “where the fuck is the EFF on this?”

Well, EFF has been busy attacking the father of Free software, defaming him while promoting Microsoft's surveillance.
_____
* The ‘Linux’ Foundation does not speak for GNU/Linux users but for antagonistic, sometimes outright hostile, corporations that look to undermine software freedom, promoting fake security that in effect means corporations control the community and hijack the narrative [1, 2].

Unitary Patent Lobbying: Stacked UPC Panel With 250 People in Attendance Spun as “3000 Viewers Followed the Conference” (a Lie)

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b24a68e8362a1abf83f99e1ed27a7eee
The Illegal They Do Immediately
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Bolstering the criminal acts of António Campinos from the EPO is a supportive “conference in Brussels” which was more like staged Unified Patent Court (UPC) propaganda for lobbying purposes; Kangaroo courts are being promoted to legitimise fake European Patents, granted in violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

THE video above discusses the latest statements (fluff) from the EPO’s official site, notably this one (warning: epo.org link) which was published less than a day ago. The except says: “More than 1 000 participants attend high-level conference in Brussels.”

That’s a lie. The body itself says that only about 250 were present (and they probably rounded this up… upwards). Further down they try to use social control media to further inflate the numbers, just like the OSI did earlier this year. They use “junk” yardsticks like “clicks” or “impressions” (scrolled past) to avoid speaking of real, meaningful stuff like active participation, attendance etc.

“They use “junk” yardsticks like “clicks” or “impressions” (scrolled past) to avoid speaking of real, meaningful stuff like active participation, attendance etc.”The UPC has long been promoted based on a bunch of lies and gagging of critics. The UPC is a Trojan horse for European software patents and many other things. It cannot withstand scrutiny if any real scrutiny was to come from the corporate/mainstream media. The aforementioned “event” was in fact only attended by fervert proponents of the UPC; not a single sceptic or critic was allowed and the panel was moderated by a Watchtroll pundit in the pockets of Team UPC (a Big Business propagandist spun as “IP journalist”).

Aside from that, the self-appointed ‘judge’ and “the f***ing president” (that’s what he calls himself) makes up the rules for internal tribunals, yet again.

The EPO’s disregard for the law, reluctance to obey court orders (without oversight, what would be the consequences?) and abuse of its own staff is — quite frankly as expected — extending to the general public. The same corrupt officials are now working to hijack or replace national courts, appointing ‘judges’ based on nepotism while they still work for companies with a stake in the outcome (conflict of interest).

What can the ordinary European citizen do about this injustice? Or to quote someone: “What channels to European citizens have to ask for oversight of the EPO?”

Remember that the EPO rides diplomatic immunity and there are docile allies inside the European Commission.

The absence of official channels by which to complain about the EPO is not a new problem and the existing, suboptimal options are contacting one’s MEP/s. Some of them make a point by highlighting the illegality of the situation.

[Meme] Monopolies Presumed Valid

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grabinski: Monopolies. I like.

Summary: The EPO is trying to put patent maximalists in charge of a court it wishes to control, in effect dismantling independent auditory functions for the granting of European Patents

“Bringing Teams Together” at the EPO Means Exactly the Opposite

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7c176ea40b2c4b3e3b120585200ba457
EPO Staff Pushed Around
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The European Patent Office’s (EPO) staff is complaining that the EPO's “Bringing Teams Together” or “New Management of Office Space” is basically done without consulting staff and to the detriment of staff, in effect making life miserable for those who can stop or prevent unwarranted monopolies

THE Benoît Battistelli era is not truly over. Staff of the EPO is still being crushed and satisfaction levels remain as low as ever [1, 2] (since Battistelli came).

“When the management treats its own staff so poorly what is to be expected from its attitude towards the wider public?”Today we share a letter sent to two cronies of António Campinos, one of whom a former colleague from Alicante who shamelessly promotes violation of labour regulations.

The net effect is sadder staff that’s being bullied into granting European software patents in order to fake "production". The term production doesn’t mean actual work, it just means granting more and more monopolies each year, irrespective of the rules that were meant to govern the Office.

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote the following about last week’s “Communiqué [...] announc[ing] the revival of the “Bringing Teams Together” project which aims to empty EPO buildings to save office space.”

As we mentioned before, the premise is a lie and it’s not about saving space in the premises. There are other motivations that are kept secret (or unspoken of). Here is the CSC’s message:

Bringing Teams Together: Everybody will have to move

Dear colleagues,

In the Communiqué of 17 November 2022, the Office announced the revival of the “Bringing Teams Together” project which aims to empty EPO buildings to save office space. The project was never submitted to statutory consultation and only presented for information in the GCC meeting of 5 July 2022 (see also our GCC opinion).

Before the administration runs this project, we request to be informed of the lessons learnt from previous projects such as the Isar Daylight Project and the Vienna relocation.

The “Bringing Teams Together” project remains unpopular because the administration’s arguments in its defence remain unconvincing. The statement “it is very likely that everybody in these buildings will have to move” is not understandable for many teams which are already together.

We believe that the exercise, in the current context, will neither improve the working atmosphere in the Office nor increase confidence in the decision of the upper management.

Here is the latter sent by the CSC to Campinos ‘protegee’ Nellie Simon and Steve Rowan:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

European Patent Office
80298 Munich
Germany

Central Staff Committee
Comité central du personnel
Zentraler Personalausschuss

centralSTCOM@epo.org
Reference: sc22139cl
Date: 18/11/2022

Ms Nellie Simon
Site Manager Munich City
Mr Steve Rowan
Site Manager The Hague
By email

OPEN LETTER

Revival of the unpopular “Bringing Teams Together” project

Dear Ms Simon,
Dear Mr Rowan,

In the Communiqué of 17 November 2022, the Office has announced the revival of the “Bringing Teams Together” project which aims to empty EPO buildings to save office space. The project was never submitted to statutory consultation and only presented for information in the GCC meeting of 5 July 2022 (see also our GCC opinion).

According to the Communiqué, the Office bases its decision on average building occupancy rates observed since September over a period of 10 weeks: 33% in Munich (but with peaks at 40% from Tuesday to Thursday) and 37% in The Hague.

First, if new observation data were used, it constitutes evidence that the project should be discussed and creates an opportunity to submit it to the COHSEC, and to the GCC for consultation.

Second, the New Ways of Working cannot be considered to have reached a steady state in such a short period. Observation of staff working patterns can only be reliable over a longer period of at least one complete year.

Third, since September 2022, working in the Office premises has continued to remain unattractive:

• The PschorrHöfe buildings 7 and 8 have no canteen and no cafeteria. The only available cafeteria is insufficient and causes long waiting times for a coffee or a snack.

• The repair works (e.g. lifts) and new installation (e.g. LED panels) were a source of not only inconvenience but also considerable acoustic pollution.

These conditions, among other reasons, forced many of our colleagues to switch to teleworking.

The “Bringing Teams Together” project remains unpopular because the administration’s arguments in its defence remain unconvincing. The statement “it is very likely that everybody in these buildings will have to move” is not understandable for many teams which are already together.

Before you run this project, we request to be informed of the lessons learnt from previous projects such as the Isar Daylight Project and the Vienna relocation.

What can be understood from the Communiqué is that line managers will now be tasked with checking the history of presence of their team members in the Office premises and, if it is deemed insufficient since September, impose a workplace-for-the-day even if an allocated fixed workplace was requested in the first place.

We believe that this exercise, in the current context, will neither improve the working atmosphere in the Office nor increase confidence in the decision of the upper management.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Cc.: Ms Edda Franz, Principal Director General Services

When the management treats its own staff so poorly what is to be expected from its attitude towards the wider public? As we shall show in the next video and article, the EPO is stomping on EU citizens on behalf of corporations, the majority of which aren’t even European.

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